Lentz says ‘sorry’ for partial quote

Mr. Outlaw was correct (The Citizen Online, March 11, 2014) when he said I had left out part of a quotation about drought in the Mediterranean and West Africa.

I was responding to Obama’s prediction of drought in the U.S.A., and limited my remarks to that. In retrospect, that was misleading and a mistake on my part, and I apologize to Mr. Outlaw and the readers of this newspaper.

But (there’s always a “but”), I stand by my understanding of science and the sciences of meteorology and climatology that Earth is warming and that climate is changing and will continue to change.

I stand by my assertion that Obama is an alarmist, and suggest that he — like others on both the left and the right — are cherry-picking data and distorting the truth for their own purposes, and that the only things extreme about climate change are the lies from the right and the left.

At Mr. Outlaw’s suggestion, I logged onto www.extremeicesurvey.org and then watched pieces of the video available on YouTube. The organization describes itself as “an innovative, long-term photography project that merges art and science to give a ‘visual voice’ to the planet’s changing ecosystems.”

The video is dramatic and the videography is first-rate. However, what I saw was not science. I prefer websites that end in .edu or .gov, or which provide peer-reviewed journal articles. (I make exceptions for reputable organizations such as the Pew Research Center and Education Week.)

On March 12, 2014 (WSB radio) Rush Limbaugh said, “Global warming is not a winning political issue.”

The sad thing is that global warming and global climate change have become political issues, and, like most political issues, they are polarizing.

They and many other politicized and polarizing issues such as stem cell research should be scientific issues rather than political issues.

Unfortunately, education in and understanding of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics do not seem to be thriving in the U.S.A.

Nearly half of the people who took an online quiz believed that lasers work by focusing sound waves. (The correct answer is “light.”) Less than half knew that electrons are smaller than atoms. Only 20 percent knew that nitrogen gas makes up most of Earth’s atmosphere. Other surveys show that fewer than half of Americans accept the veracity of the theory of evolution.

A December 2013 report of test results from 65 countries showed that students in the U.S.A. were outscored in mathematics by students in 29 other nations or jurisdictions (up from 23 three years ago). In science, 22 countries/jurisdictions outscored U.S.A. students (up from 19 three years ago). The top scoring students were from Shanghai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Macao, Japan, Lichtenstein, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Estonia.

What’s wrong with this picture?

Paul Lentz
Peachtree City, Ga.

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